From Brexit To Trump - a system that only works for the bosses

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16 November 2016

So Donald Trump is now just waiting for his inauguration as US president in January 2017. In a sense his election proved what he himself always alleged: that the system is rigged. Because he only won, because he got straight majorities in enough states - even though he lost the popular vote: Clinton got 600,000 votes more than he did. And of course many voters abstained - even if the turnout was 58%, up from 53% in 2012.

Now, after the initial surprise (or shock) that they did not get their candidate of choice, Hillary Clinton, the establishment has wasted no time in embracing the "anti-establishment" candidate...

Of course. Trump was always one of their own, despite his posturing. He is also an experienced politician. He stood in past elections as a Democrat, a Republican and an independent! Take your pick! And of course he is a real estate billionaire, who has rubbed shoulders with every top politician, welcoming both the Clintons to his last wedding... Yes, he has all the credentials needed.

The market has already shown its approval by going up. It likes very much the fact that Trump has offered to reduce corporation tax to 15% - more than half its current rate. And he is using the self-same pretext as Brown, Cameron and Osborne in Britain: that this will boost companies and investment and bring in more taxes. Only it hasn't and didn't. In Britain the cut in corporation tax has already resulted in a £55bn tax deficit.

In a country like the USA, which has been especially ravaged by the financial crisis, with millions losing their jobs, being evicted from their homes and/or taking big pay cuts, how is this going to help those from the poor and working class who have voted for Trump - because they wanted "change"?

Trump's foult-mouthed posturing

Of course, the promise of Obama's presidency never materialised. But then again, how could it, when he stood just as much for US capitalism as all who went before him?

But to try to hide the fact that he would be just as much an enemy of the working class as Clinton and Obama when it came to policies, Trump resorted to systematic provocations during his campaign. And he is still coming out with this bigotry.

The more outrage he causes with his loud and often foul-mouthed rhetoric, the more he feeds the illusion that he is different and someone who will throw a "grenade" into the works. And far from toning the rhetoric down, since being elected, he's toned it up! He said this week that he would deport up to 3m immigrants, describing them all as if they are criminals, drug dealers or worse! As for the border wall with Mexico - it's still going ahead, although maybe partly as a "fence".

That said, many Americans will remember that Trump made fat profits out of the pre-2008 real estate speculative bubble which sparked the sub-prime mortgage crisis, when the bubble burst, leading to the world banking crisis!

And they will also know how hypocritical his pledge was to champion the cause of those workers made redundant due to the crisis and "repatriate the jobs which have been lost to Mexico or China"! His companies have always maximised their profits by subcontracting work to poor countries overseas.

Ballot papers are no weapons for us, only our struggles are

In the end, it's possible that some US voters realised that it made no difference who they voted for; that whoever won would be a voice for big business, implementing the same anti-working class, pro-boss policies and that the election offered them no choice at all. And so they did not bother to vote for "the lesser evil", Clinton.

That said, Trump did manage to win the votes of a section of workers who felt left behind by the system. Never mind that they were expressing their anger at the establishment by voting for someone who represents the establishment! But they now have a problem, because they cannot expect a change of policies from a man who represents the same social interests as Clinton and Obama.

In fact it's not unlike what happened with the EU referendum (and they keep making the comparison because of the surprise Brexit vote!). Under a flood of lies, you were asked to decide between two non-choices. And both camps speculated on people's despair. Here the "Remain" camp stood for the continuation of Cameron's policies within the EU. The "Leave" camp promised utopia outside the EU, lying consistently! But both represented the same divisive anti-working class policies. The biggest lie of all - and the one they need us to believe the most - is that they represent "all" the people.

But as long as society is controlled by this tiny capitalist minority, the ballots which they offer us will never bring any change. That said, workers can take heart, because these ballots do not represent defeats for the working class. It was not represented in the vote. And anyway, the weapon of the working class is not a ballot paper - it is the class struggle. When workers have built their own political party to represent their class interests, it is this struggle which it will conduct, not a referendum!